Milwaukee wisely passed on committing to either Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis on a lucrative, long-term free-agent deal this summer. (Jennings signed with the Pistons, while Ellis went to the Mavericks.) But now the Bucks are stuck with a middling roster. There are no evident stars in the mix; even the best players—shot blocker Larry Sanders and free-agent guard O.J. Mayo—are merely quite good, and the rest of the roster is short on upside.
John Henson is one of the few exceptions. He, too, is no superstar in the making, but he holds the potential to be a two-way difference-maker—more than can be said of Sanders or Mayo. The key is unlocking Henson's length: He is 6'11", but his wingspan measures a whopping 7'5". That reach allowed him to grab 12.9 rebounds per 36 minutes last season despite his slight, 220-pound frame. It gives him the means to drop hook shots over the outstretched arms of a defender. It bodes well for the defensive player he could become with more playing time and sound instruction.
All of which is to say that the ceiling for the 22-year-old power forward is a pleasant unknown. Henson hasn't yet met the burden of proof that comes with playing regular minutes against better competition, but he has shown enough promise to warrant patient optimism—and to see those minutes increase.
COACH LARRY DREW (1ST SEASON WITH BUCKS)
2012--13 RECORD 38--44 (3RD IN CENTRAL)
WHAT'S NEW Drew, let go by the Hawks, takes over a team that could have as many as 11 fresh faces.
PROJECTED LINEUP (2012--13 STATS)